It’s all about York this weekend and the highlight on day three of the Ebor festival is the Nunthorpe Stakes for the sprinters.
This contest is top to tail in quality, featuring last years heroine Mecca’s Angel, July Cup winner Limato, Kings Stand victor Profitable and a brace of interesting juveniles receiving lumps of weight in Prince Of Lir and Yalta.
Limato has been supplemented for the contest at a cost of £30,000 after destroying the opposition at Newmarket last time and has headed the betting all week. The ground is key for Mecca’s Angel who won’t be risked on a quick surface in her quest to retain her title, while Profitable will appreciate the return to the minimum distance after a respectable fourth behind Limato at HQ.
Easton Angel can also be thrown into the mix after a luckless run at Goodwood last time where Take Cover took victory. David Griffiths’ nine year old cannot be discounted on the strength of that Group Two success and has a course and distance form under his belt already this season.
The juveniles Prince Of Lir and Yalta are of interest and worthy of each way support as they receive 24lb off the majority of the field, however the most solid option appears to be Profitable, who is unbeaten over this five furlong trip this season and can be expected to run his race.
The main supporting event is the Lonsdale Cup over two miles. Clever Cookie supporters will want to see some rain around to aid his cause, while Pallasator bounced back to form when second in the Goodwood Cup last time. Chance is taken with Wicklow Brave however who represents last years winning trainer Willie Mullins and 2014 winning jockey Pat Smullen. He was fourth in the Goodwood contest and can improve to land this Group 2 prize.
The feature event on Saturday is the Betfred Ebor where Ivan Grozny has headed the ante post market since his runaway success at the Galway Festival. Willie Mullins won this contest back in 2009 and Ivan Grozny, who improved as a hurdler last season when landing a Aintree Handicap on Grand National weekend fits all the criteria of recent Betfred Ebor winners.
Dangers are a plenty though, including Northumberland Plate winner Antiquarium, recent Goodwood winner Elidor and ante-post market mover She Is No Lady who was second in the Marathon on Eclipse day at Sandown on her last appearance.
Enjoy the action on the Knavesmire and be lucky!!